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  • November 5, 2009

    Palos Verdes Lobster Hunting During A Full Moon

    With a full moon out and yesterday’s diving conditions reported as being good to excellent, Instructor John, Instructor Ron and I, took the mighty zodiac out to try another secret lobster hunting location.

    We left King Harbor around 8:30 PM and took an extremely bumpy ride out; if I wasn’t so damn macho, I would have been sea sick and throwing up.

    We anchored in 35 feet of water.

    The lobsters, I’m thinking, are deeper now.

    Ron and I went in our separate directions and swam deeper; John was still at the boat when I submerged.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #361

    SECRET LOCATION: 4f 66 66 20 74 68 65 20 67 61 74 65 73 20 6f 66 20 4d 61 72 2c 20 6e 65 61 72 20 74 68 72 65 65 20 63 68 69 6d 6e 65 79 73 2c 20 74 68 65 72 65 20 69 73 20 61 20 68 6f 75 73 65 20 77 69 74 68 20 74 68 72 65 65 20 61 72 63 68 65 64 20 77 69 6e 64 6f 77 73 2e, Palos Verdes, CA

    Solo Diving, SoCal Buddy Diving

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 300 psi
    Max depth: 55 feet
    Waves: Wind chop on the surface, fairly calm under
    Visibility: 15 to 20 feet
    Water Temperature: About 60 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: About 40 minutes

    Visibility was rather good – not too much silt and the water was extremely calm compared to the surface.

    I saw a few shorts on my way to 50 feet and pinned a couple of obviously looking legal bugs – that is until I measured them.

    Missed it by that much.

    As Maxwell Smart says, “Missed it by that much.”

    I came across some really interesting reef structure – it looked like a wall of boulders that someone had dropped in 50 feet of water.

    Antennae after antennae were sticking out of the holes and crevices, but the lobsters were out of reach; once my light hit them, they fled deeper.

    When they’re hiding in the rocks, it’s really impossible to grab the lobster’s carapace without first touching the protruding and constantly probing antennas, and once touched, they take off deeper into the hole.

    The lobsters tonight were generally spooked; even the ones crawling around on the ground immediately fled backwards as soon as my light hit them.

    I have heard, that a full moon is a bad night to lobster hunt as the lunar reflection keeps the bugs in their holes.

    Having caught six monster bugs on Opening Night, which was also a full moon, I thought that was just a myth; now, I think there’s some truth to the saying.

    I tried my hand at digging some bugs out, but I had no success.

    Yes, there’s some big ones in 50 feet, but they stayed home tonight.

    I made it back to the boat where I tried to take my weight belt off and throw it on the deck.

    My weight belt was caught on something – it was snagged somehow on my BC jacket.

    Ron had just climbed aboard and I asked him for assistance; he lifted my BC, tank and weight belt into the boat.

    With a little difficulty, I followed.

    Somehow, one of the clips that holds my weights in place got hooked onto a D-ring on my jacket – I’m glad that I didn’t have to ditch my weight belt in an emergency!

    A happy lobster hunter!

    Ron had one bug and demonstrated the “official DFG way the measure lobsters.”

    I have been taking the gauge, hooking the front near the eyes and lowering the other end over the back.

    The DFG does it the opposite way – they start at the back and lower the gauge to the head.

    “If you can make the eyes move, it’s a short bug,” Ron said.

    No matter how long you’ve been diving or hunting, you can learn something new every day.

    John remeasures his legal lobtser using the official dfg way.

    John made it back shortly thereafter with one bug that he caught in 20 feet.

    John reported that he almost got stung by a Pacific Electric Ray.

    “There was some dark disk following me on the side, I stopped and almost grabbed it until I saw what it was and thought ‘Holy Shit,'” he said.

    I pose with my lobster catch for the night.

    I pose with my catch for the night.

    One of my neighbors, who is on my lobster ration list, asked me, “Your two buddies got one each, why didn’t you get any?”

    I answered a question with another question, “Um, every been to Las Vegas?”

    I’m so glad I don’t have to clean any lobsters tonight!

    1 Comment

    1. Sorry about the skunking, happens to the best of us. During the first few weeks of the season the bugs are shallow and out. But as the fall conditions set in, clear calm water, a number of things happen, full moon and clear water means tough bug hunting, Clear water with no moon, is ok, Heavy surf and low vis is best. Personal observations.

      Comment by halibug — November 6, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

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